A Cry For Justice

Awakening the Evangelical Church to Domestic Violence and Abuse in its Midst

Abuse Claims the Power of Life and Death Over Others

The killing of a mother and her two daughters by an evil, wicked “husband / father” in Ohio is still weighing on my mind today as additional facts are being reported in the news. Appended to the end of this post is an excerpt from one of the news accounts. Lessons, lessons, lessons — these kinds of abusers so often have a history, either kept secret or totally distorted for the purpose of deception. Are we saying that Katherina Allen was foolish. No. We have all been deceived by the evil of the abuser. But we can learn from this tragedy and so many others like it. Kevin Allen had a history of evil. A long history of violence and threats against his wives and others. It would be helpful if we could learn about how he conned Katherina, how they met, what he told her, how much was withheld from her, and so on. But we may never know. We can probably pretty accurately theorize however, as we have seen this thing play out so many times before.

Power and control. That is what it is all about. Think about it. How does murder come into this picture? Well, I suggest that the ultimate power and control is the power of life and death. Only God has that power. Only God can give life, and God alone specifies how life may be taken away. No human being possesses in themselves the right or power of life and death. But the abuser, in agreement with his father the devil (John 8), insists that he is entitled to this ultimacy of power. He will declare if his victim will live or die. This is what lies behind his threats — “if you ever try to leave me, I will kill you and the kids.” He sets himself up as God.

(Hebrews 2:14-15  ESV)  (14) Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil,  (15) and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery.

Satan, you see, is always out to usurp God. “I will be like the Most High.” So he keeps his slaves in the fear of death, using that fear to control them. He declares himself to be the master of life and death. This is largely why Jesus said of him:

(John 8:44  ESVUK)  You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.

Kevin Allen set himself up as God to his wife and children. His reign was one of fear and terror. He kept them in bondage, keeping them wondering if he would grant them the right to live one more day of their lives. And when they said “no more” to him, he exercised his entitlement to power over them. He took a shotgun and murdered them, and said “I am the Most High.”

The consolation we can take is knowing that there is a true Most High God, whom Kevin Allen has now met, and found himself to be nothing before Him.

Additional Facts:

Police records dating back nearly 20 years painted a picture of Kevin Allen, married at least three times, as a violent man with a history of threatening wives and others. Just two days earlier, Katherina told police in their hometown of Strongsville that she had left her husband and taken their daughters after “an incident” on Easter and was afraid to go home to collect their belongings.

Katherina Allen “stated that she has not been getting along with her husband and decided to take the kids and stay with a friend,” according to the Tuesday police report.

“Initially she wanted to pick up some items from the house, but decided not to because it would make him mad if police responded,” the report said, adding that Katherina wanted to document “verbal altercations” the couple had been having.

“I’m having some spouse problems,” Katherina Allen tells the dispatcher in the 911 call.

The dispatcher then asks her if Kevin Allen owns any weapons or is armed. She says her husband had told her he’d gotten rid of a shotgun, but she had seen him with shotgun shells. She also told the dispatcher that Kevin Allen was calling one of her daughters in the restaurant.

At the end of the call, Allen says, “He’s here and the police are here, too. I have to….” She then stops speaking.

[Read more: Ohio girl in critical condition after dad kills family, shoots her inside a Cracker Barrel restaurant [Internet Archive link]]

[March 18, 2023: Editors’ notes:

—For some comments made prior to March 18, 2023 that quoted from the post, the text in the comment that was quoted from the post might no longer be an exact match.
—For some comments made prior to March 18, 2023 that quoted from the post, the text in the comment that was quoted from the post might no longer be found in the post.
If you would like to compare the text in the comments made prior to March 18, 2023 that quoted from the post to the post as it is now (March 18, 2023), click here [Internet Archive link] for the most recent Internet Archive copy of the post.]


UPDATE Sept 2021: I have come to believe that Jeff Crippen does not practise what he preaches. He vilely persecuted an abuse victim and spiritually abused many other people in the Tillamook congregation. Go here to read the evidence. Jeff has not gone to the people that he spiritually and emotionally abused. He has not apologised to them, let alone asked for their forgiveness.


  1. Maree

    I underestimated my former husband and his hatred of me. He burst through the door and without a word, attacked me from behind, trying to strangle me. I fought him off. I was very shaken. It was all without warning and I don’t recall an argument beforehand. His parents were even in another room of the house. At the time I didn’t believe that he was trying to kill me but I have read reports of women being killed by their husbands strangling them. Don’t underestimate what they can do. If you are able to get out then PLEASE GO.

  2. earleydaysyet

    My foster sister N got married to a man who insisted she get pregnant before the wedding, to “prove” she loved him. So she was 2 months pregnant when they got married. 3 days later, he put her in [the] hospital for the first time. He took her mobile phone away and put a PIN on the home phone so she couldn’t use it; he had the only key for the deadbolts, & locked the house up when he left for work; she was beaten for cooking the “wrong” meal, for not having hot food waiting at whatever random time he came home, for no reason she could see…. Finally, a local friend got sick of the husband’s excuses for why N wasn’t at church, or the gym, or any of the places she used to go, and came around to check on her. The next time N & husband went to the supermarket, the friend slipped her a mobile phone; the next day, 8 1/2 months pregnant, she got away. My nephew was born healthy 3 weeks later.

    My mum said to me, “you know my position on divorce, but — when she told me what had gone on — I drove her to the lawyer’s office.”

    Even if you “don’t believe in” the blasé divorce-as-a-substitute-for-counselling approach, I don’t know how you could look at my sister’s case & say she should’ve stayed.

    • Jeff Crippen

      I don’t have any idea either. Thank you for your story and we are very glad it had a good outcome. When people who are strictly opposed to divorce come personally face-to-face with the experience of abuse, they often have to re-consider their position. I cannot imagine a father seeing his daughter black and blue, and telling her she cannot divorce the evil man.

      • Diane

        Thank you for your post, Jeff. Such unnecessary sadness and bondage, isn’t it. I wonder if this “preserve marriage at all cost” that some teach has something to do with those who also teach about marriage being the main example of how Christ loves the church and if we were to ok divorce, then are we teaching that Christ divorces us or we Christ….or some such nonsense? I know some elevate marriage to such a degree….it is THE way we are shown how Christ loves the church. But it would be very interesting to see what a patriarchy promoter like Voddie Baucham would do if he found himself in such a predicament. He picks the husband for his daughter only to find her being abused by her husband a few months later. Then what?

      • Jeff Crippen

        Yes, how in the world does anyone think that a monstrous thing that parades as marriage at the hands of an abuser models Christ’s love for His church? Would not the best model for that love be to free the victim from the oppressor?

  3. The power of life and death over others…. I saw on TV recently a doco [slang for documentary] about forced marriage and marital slavery. Many women from third world countries (who now live in Australia or New Zealand) were saying that in their home countries a husband often says to his wife “I can easily kill you and get another wife. If I sell a cow, I can buy another wife!”

    • churchmouse

      Not unlike certain 21st century pastors, then.

      • Jeff Crippen

        Unfortunately, yes. There truly is something afoot called spiritual abuse, and for a clear biblical example, read about Diotrephes in 3 John 1. Diotrephes is still with us today. God’s prescription to us about how to deal with him? Call attention to what he is doing, and do this publicly in the church!

  4. churchmouse

    Many thanks, Pastor Jeff. As I am blogging on John’s epistles (and previously featured a series on Christian wife and child abuse), this will be apposite.

    Thank you for all your concerted efforts to right this wrong. May God continue to bless you.

  5. Finding Answers

    Pastor Jeff wrote:

    ….We can probably pretty accurately theorize however, as we have seen this thing play out so many times before.


    Healthy relationships and unhealthy relationships.

    Some patterns take longer to develop.

    The intent of a behaviour and the end result of the behaviour may / may not be in agreement.

    An individual’s intent can be spoken / unspoken. (The words may / may not be true.)

    Evaluating a behaviour, observing past patterns, may lead to evaluating the quality of the relationship.

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